Monday, November 29, 2010

Presidential Libraries

Here are a couple of ideas to keep you busy on a weekend. Just 110 miles from Edwards, you'll find the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum. It's in Simi Valley (take the 14 to the Reagan Fwy). They've got an old presidential airplane (Air Force Once, if you must), a motorcade and memorabilia from Reagan's Hollywood days.

While you're in LA (or at Disneyland for SETP, etc), try the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum. It's in Yorba Linda, 126 miles from Edwards (although, you'd ideally take the 395 to I-15 to get to Yorba Linda). Nixon's library is larger and more impressive than Reagan's but it also tends to ignore Watergate and Vietnam. It also claims a large role in the 1969 Apollo moon landing. The National Archives just took over as curator for the museum and is making some changes.

Because these two libraries are entirely across town, it's better to visit them on separate weekends. Or, consider staying in the middle in Pasadena. Pasadena is one of our favorite towns for its excellent downtown area, top-notch restaurants and lodging availability.

On this particular trip, we also visited the Huntington Library and Gardens in Pasadena. It's $20 on weekends (cheaper weekdays, and it has 1 free day per month), but has an entire days' worth of learning and exploration. The Japanese garden and rare cacti (some 100+ varieties, some quite bizarre) were highlights. Consider taking a weekend trip to Pasadena just for the Huntington and a nice dinner out.

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